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Media award Syrian family is focus of award-winning photo



The Syrian refugee family mourn their youngest child

The Syrian refugee family mourn their youngest child

(YVAIN GENEVAY/Keystone)

Yvain Genevay has been named Swiss Photographer of the Year for his pictures of a grieving family of Syrian refugees in Switzerland.

The case made headlines last summer when the pregnant Syrian woman had a miscarriage on a train. Swiss border guards with the family were accused of failing to help her. 

In July, the family had been travelling on a train from Milan to Paris – which passes through Switzerland – when they were turned back at the French-Swiss border with a group of fellow migrants. 

While accompanied on the train back to Italy by Swiss border guards, the seven-month-pregnant woman began to bleed, but her husband’s repeated pleas for help were ignored by the Swiss, he told the media. When she was eventually treated at a hospital in Italy, her baby had died. 

Following the incident, an investigation was launched into the border guards’ actions. It was found that mistakes may have been made and the issue was passed on to the military justice system. The family eventually received asylum in Italy. 

The subsequent photographs by Lausanne-based Genevay show the family in mourning and the child’s grave. They first appeared in Le Matin Dimanche, a newspaper the French-speaking part of Switzerland. 

The jury of the Swiss Press Awards considered 3,147 images from 221 photographers, according to a statement on Wednesday. 

The Swiss Press Photo prize from the Reinhardt von Graffenried Foundation is worth CHF20,000 ($20,500).

swissinfo.ch and agencies


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